Creating a Bungalow Livingroom from scratch


These brave explorers set out to create a quintessential bungalow wall complete with a tiled fireplace, built-in cabinetry, and symmetrical windows. While the majority of this post will focus on the tiling part of their expedition, we first wanted to show the hard work it took to get there!

When one window closes...

It is easy to feel stuck with the oddities of your space. A weird jut in the wall, a confusingly short hallway, or, in this case, a big central window.

Here the homeowners' plans felt impossible until, during the pandemic, they decided to replace the siding and windows. Keeping that in mind, they decided it was now or never for getting their dream bungalow wall.



Firstly, they mapped out where they wanted the new windows and fireplace to go. We suggest mapping out for tile as well; it is a great way to get a clear visualization of the space. In addition, you can spot problem areas and tricky measurements.  Next, they took out the window, filled it in, and began creating the fireplace area. They made sure to leave room on either side for those quintessential bungalow built-in cabinetry.  Next, they cut out the new window placement and inserted the historic beveled windows. They then installed the cabinets and the space was ready for our favorite part...the fireplace!



Brainstorming to ordering

The homeowners wanted to use our tile, but first they ordered one of our sample packs to choose a color. Once they saw the tile in their home with their lighting they decided to go with Pesto. Next, they needed to figure out what design they wanted.

To begin, they measured and sketched out the facade and the hearth.  They then used butcher paper to sketch out those dimensions to scale.   Next, they began figuring out the tile size(s), pattern(s), accents, and trim they wanted.

The homeowners decided on a look inspired by our Davenport pattern. They downloaded a PDF of that pattern to use as a reference point and began mapping the tiles out. They decided to use 2" x 8" tiles as the field, with 2" x 4" pieces on the ends to help create a running bond pattern. For the decorative band, they used two rows of 2" x 2"  tiles with a band of 1" x 1" tiles above and below. For the accent tiles, they used our 4" x 4" Medieval Floral tiles in Pesto. The fireplace protrudes from the wall by 2" so they choose our L Trim to finish the edges. Once everything was mapped out they gave us a call.

We wrote an estimate for them and made sure they would have all the tile and trim they needed plus our recommended 10% overage. Once everything was approved it was time for us to start making the tile







Installation time!

The tile was made, packed, shipped, and delivered! Before installation began the homeowners opened all the boxes and checked the tile. Next, they began laying out the tile on the floor to evenly spread out the natural variation and confirm the design. Then, it was time for installation to begin.

The homeowners started with a strong base of concrete board and then mixed up the mortar until it had a peanut-butter consistency. Next, they took a notched trowel and spread out some mortar on the concrete board. To guarantee full coverage they “back buttered” the tiles (thinly apply mortar to the tile back). They then began placing the tiles and used spacers to create equidistance between tiles. Once all the tiles were placed they left the mortar to set for 48 hours.

Next, it was time to grout. For handmade tiles, sanded grout is recommended and for cool color tiles, a cool-toned grout is recommended. As Pesto is a matte glaze, the homeowners put grout release on the tile so no grout got stuck. Next, the homeowners taped over the three-dimensional Medieval Floral tiles to help speed clean up. They put on rubber gloves and used a rubber grout float to fill the joints completely. Then, they wiped the tile off with a towel and let the grout cure for 24 hours.

Finally, the fireplace was complete and ready to be used!








Wall Begining
Building Fireplace



    What Grout Should I Use?

    Get tile pro tips, planning help, and inspiration.

    SUBSCRIBE to our Infinity Newsletter.

    You have Successfully Subscribed!

    What Grout Should I Use?

    Get tile pro tips, planning help, and inspiration.

    SUBSCRIBE to our Infinity Newsletter.

    You have Successfully Subscribed!